Reference Number: 84
The crosstalk between the gut and the brain has revealed a complex communication system responsible for maintaining a proper gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as affect emotional mood and cognitive functions. Recent research has revealed that beneficial manipulation of the microbiota by probiotics and prebiotics represent an emerging and novel strategy for the treatment of a large spectrum of diseases ranging from visceral pain to mood disorders. The review critically evaluates current knowledge of the effects exerted by both probiotics and prebiotics in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Relevant literature was identified through a search of MEDLINE via PubMed using the following words, “probiotics”, “prebiotics”, “microbiota”, and “gut–brain axis” in combination with “stress”, “depression”, “IBS”, and “anxiety”. A number of trials have shown efficacy of probiotics and prebiotics in ameliorating both IBS related symptoms and emotional states. However, limitations have been found especially due to the small number of clinical studies, studies design, patient sample size, and placebo effect.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The crosstalk between the gut and brain has revealed a com- plex communication system, which is responsible for main- taining a proper gastrointestinal homeostasis as well as affecting emotional mood and cognitive functions.The impact of the gut microbiome on health, including mental health, is now a frontier research area that has caught the attention of the scientific community in a degree that has been rarely seen in other areas of science. The enthusiasm generated by a considerable number of preclinical data and supported by a growing clinical literature makes the microbiota an appealing therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of various human diseases. In this review, we have provided evidence of the impact of probiotic and prebiotic treatments in both IBS and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Moreover, we have attempted to highlight the currently known routes of communication of the gut-brain axis. The evidence compiled in this review indicates that treatments with probiotics and prebiotics can ameliorate some of the symptomatology that characterises both IBS and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Despite that, the evidence base is still limited, such as the small number of clinical studies, study design, size of the studies, and placebo effect has been highlighted throughout this work. Further clinical studies are required to shed light on the possible therapeutic effect exerted by both probiotics and prebiotics in health and mental health.